Managing House and Home Office

What I do is not inherently appealing to most people – that’s why my clients pay me to do it! If you check the dictionary you’ll find Administration somewhere in there between Yawn and I’d Rather Watch ‘The Shire’.

Which makes writing a blog about it as difficult as trying to fit gravity into a Grand Unified Theory.

Holding down house and home office is a juggling act and I’m often asked how I manage to make my living from being organised and organising other people’s lives and businesses. Let me tell you – it isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come naturally! I had the fortune of inheriting the scatter brain gene so I’ve had to work very hard at creating a system of checks and balances that allow me to function with a certain degree of efficiency.

Here are my Top 5 Tips to managing House and Home Office:

1. Write Everything Down, be the Crazy Cat Lady of Lists!

Some people like to go old school, write reminders down on paper, white board, the backs of their hands etc. Some people live by their electronic calendars, making tasks, setting up meetings, syncing notes on their iPhone and so on. I say: DO THEM ALL! My fridge feels lonely without a shopping list or a list of house chores on it. My Outlook Calendar is ridonkulous – EVERYTHING I need to do is in there and it’s synced to my iPhone, it provides me with a list of things I need to do each day, bills to pay, tasks to complete, meetings, phone calls and even personal things like movie dates and birthdays. Don’t keep all the junk in your head, it will send you mad. Write it down, it’s one action step closer to completing what needs to get done.

2. Look after the Pennies and the Pounds will look after themselves.

This doesn’t just apply to money, but also with life. Attention to detail, following up and taking care of the small things adds up to the bigger picture. Letting the small things pass can become a habit, and when an unforseen stressful situation occurs it can quickly overwhelm you because you weren’t ready for it. This is where good administration in a business is vital. Good administration is essential for the success and growth of any business. It is the framework around which a company is built, but often neglected by business owners, who are more focussed on sales and marketing, where their talents lie.

3. DON’T wear too many hats at the same time – not a hot look for Spring 2012

We don’t know it before we have kids, but you can’t work from home with a toddler. You can try, I certainly did, but you end up split between two worlds and not present in both. If you can, get daycare when you’re bub is ready and organise your work time around their schedule. Clients are people, many with children of their own, they will understand. And I know how hard it is when the office is at home, you can be tempted to log on and check your emails with the baby at home, or do a load of washing (and watch Ellen) when you should be working. But try to keep them separate, take your work time seriously, soon enough the kids will be home and all hell breaks loose!

4. Read. Read. Read.

Whether it be fictional, biographical, spiritual – or 50 Shades of Grey, you gotta carve out time for yourself somewhere in your day. A book is perfect because it’s portable and something you can put down and go back to without much fuss. A book also helps transport you to another world away from your own reality. Sometimes just knowing I’ve got my fantasy sagas to open at the end of a stressful day stops me from pulling a Forest Gump and spending the next 3 years running across the country and growing a serious ZZ top beard.

5. Plan to Plan Nothing

Literally. Make sure that at least 1 day a month tell your friends no, don’t work, don’t check your emails, put your phone on silent, don’t even plan a picnic with the family. Just go to bed the night before with nothing planned the next day, see where it takes you!